Buy it: Reading skills books

(Sarah Pastrana / Patuxent…)
March 28, 2013|By Julianne Peeling

Veteran Baltimore County teacher Helen Zeitzoff may have retired from her day job, but these days she keeps busy writing books that help elementary-school teachers enhance their students’ reading skills. Upon her retirement, Zeitzoff, who taught third grade for 32 years, introduced a school-based tutorial program for first-graders to reinforce their developing early literacy skills. In addition, Zeitzoff started her own private tutoring practice where she has worked with children from first to sixth grade.

While working alongside young teachers in the tutorial program, Zeitzoff noticed that they lacked college training in phonics. Convinced that phonics is key to reading instruction, Zeitzoff set out to write her first book, “Phonics Rules!”

Since then, she has written eight additional titles, including most recently “The Big Book of Dolch Sight Word Activities” and “The Big Book of Decoding Vowels.” Because the books offer a slow, systematic learning path, Zeitzoff hopes that children will gain a level of comfort with decoding words that not only allows them to become proficient in comprehension but also inspires in them a love of reading for enjoyment.

“The Big Book of Dolch Sight Word Activities” and “The Big Book of Decoding Vowels” are available through Key Education Publishing for $27.99 each at, and

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